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Court Issues Indictment Against East Haven Police Officers

Court Issues Indictment Against East Haven Police Officers

On September 25, 2012, the US Attorney for the District of Connecticut and the FBI’s New York Office announced a superseding indictment against David Cari, Dennis Spaulding, and Jason Zullo—all East Haven Police Officers.  The men are accused of violating civil rights of members in the East Haven area. 

According to the superseding indictment, the police officers committed 35 acts that violated civil rights.  The three officers conducted unreasonable searches and seizures, used unreasonable force during arrests, and wrote false reports about the arrests.  Many of these arrests were directed toward Latino community members, and many of the unreasonable searches and seizures were directed toward Latino-owned businesses. 

Particularly, the new charges against Zullo add onto an incident that occurred in October of 2008.  Officer Zullo was charged after he repeatedly hit a traveling motorcycle with two passengers with his squad car.  The motorcycle crashed and the two victims were thrown to the ground.  Zullo then proceeded to punch one of the victims, who was already injured and pinned to the ground, and then wrote a false police report. 

Each of the defendants is charged with one count of conspiracy against rights.  Officer Zullo is charged with three counts of using unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer, and Officer Spalding received one similar charge.  Officer Spalding is also charged with two counts of deprivation of rights for making arrests with enough probably cause, and Cari is facing one similar charge. 

The men still innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  Each count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.  Spaulding, Zullo, and Cari all face one charge of obstruction of a federal investigation as well.  Each count carries of maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. 

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation